100 Girls (2000)
★★ / ★★★★
Matthew (Jonathan Tucker), along with a mystery girl, was using the elevator in an all-girls dormitory when the power went out. Stuck in the box all night, the two college students took advantage of the romantic (or potentially creepy) situation and made love. When Matthew woke up, the girl was long gone. He didn’t even catch her name. But he did manage to keep her underwear. Throughout the rest of the semester, his mission was to find the identity of the mystery girl so they could have a shot at a real relationship. Written and directed by Michael Davis, “100 Girls” was boldly sexual because the protagonist was a teen male who worshipped women’s bodies. The key to its charm was the fact that it didn’t become sleazy. The only part worth cringing over was Rod’s strange fixation, Matthew’s roommate (James DeBello), in making his penis longer by putting increasing amount of weights on it. The mystery girl could be any one of the five main women Matthew met in the estrogen-fueled all-girls dorm. There was Arlene (Katherine Heigl), the girl with big breasts who had a penchant for beating men in foosball. Her minions liked to watch Jane Austen movies every Friday. There was also Cynthia (Jaime Pressly), a girl who could easily pass as a supermodel but hated the fact that things only came easily to her because men would do anything to impress her. Another was Patty (Emmanuelle Chriqui), the artistic girl with a crazy, hyper-masculine, poseur of a boyfriend (Johnny Green). There was Wendy (Larisa Oleynik) who everyone saw as little Ms. Perfect, someone who could give Martha Stewart a run for her money. Lastly, there was Dora (Marissa Ribisi), the ugly-duckling who became a pariah, the one who nobody cared about even if she was about to jump off several stories to meet her death. I loved that the director spent ample time for Matthew to establish a genuine connection with the various women. By the end, it felt like any one of them could be a good match for our smart and sensitive main character, sexually secure enough to dress up as a girl, aptly named Franchesca, to catch up on the latest gossip, information that he wouldn’t have access to as Matthew. The film had a good-natured sense of humor but sometimes I wished it was brave enough to offend some audiences and to rebel against sex comedy conventions. Without doing so, despite its sensitivity and witticisms, it ultimately failed to stand out among more popular titles in the sub-genre. Nevertheless, “100 Girls” had its moments of brilliance and hilarity. I loved it when a character would say something funny but none of the other characters would laugh. Then after several beats, I would realize that the euphemisms cited were actually pretty twisted.